Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Wild Weasel.

This is coolbert:

For the U.S. Air Force, both during the Vietnam War and the First Gulf War, there was one place on the battlefield [in the air obviously], that was the most dangerous of them all.

That was the aircraft flying in the role of a "Wild Weasel".

A "Wild Weasel" is:

"an aircraft that has been modified to identify, locate and physically suppress or destroy ground-based enemy air defense systems. The aircraft launches missiles that home in on the defense system's electromagnetic energy emitted as these radar system tracks the aircraft. Simply put: If an anti-aircraft radar system is turned on for more than a few seconds, the Wild Weasel can use the radar's own signal to find and destroy it."

Usually a F-4 aircraft [very venerable by the time of the First Gulf War!!], this aircraft would be the first to arrive and the last to leave the air battlefield. Over enemy territory, the "Wild Weasel" pilot would OFFER HIMSELF as a target. Make the enemy shoot at him, turn on his air defense radars, and fire surface-to-air-missiles [SAM] at the "Weasel".

This IS the most dangerous spot in the air battlefield. The pilot of a "Wild Weasel", [with his weapons officer riding shotgun] deliberately would goad the enemy to fire at him. Let the enemy expose his firing positions, and reveal the frequencies his SAM radars are working on.

"degrade enemy air defenses in the first period of a conflict in order to increase the chances of survival for the following waves of strike aircraft."

THIS IS very dangerous work!!

Pilots of the "Wild Weasels", were renowned for having a very high esprit de corps. Liked and relished the task of being in the most dangerous place in the air battlefield. [that the pilots of these aircraft are willing to perform these dangerous missions, and do so in a very conscious manner, always creates a lot of interest in the general public. This is a form of danger FEW are willing to endure, much less relish!!]

After goading the enemy SAM units to fire on them, the "Wild Weasels" would then attempt to neutralize of destroy these enemy missile sites by using a novel and deadly weapon, the anti-radiation missile [ARM].

"anti-radiation missile: An anti-radiation missile is a missile which is designed to detect and home in on the emissions of an enemy radar installation."

HOMES in on the radar emissions of an enemy radar site [the SAM site]!! Follows the radar beam TO the SAM site.

There being two varieties of the ARM in use at current time.

The Shrike, from the Vietnam era:

AND the HARM [High speed Anti-Radiation Missile] of the current era:

"Another design point of modern ARM missiles, other than the range (which is hopefully greater than that of the SAM systems it will be targeted at) is their speed. Some SAM systems utilize huge missiles which are able to accelerate up to incredible speeds (some as high as Mach 10), which means that if the ARM is to be useful in a 'duel' between an aircraft and a SAM site, the ARM should be able to fly to and hit the SAM site faster than the SAM can fly to and hit the aircraft."


This is the sort of thing JUST NOT normally found in modern warfare.

Go here to see a web site devoted to "Wild Weasels".


Casus Belli.

This is coolbert:

Many persons who opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq by U.S. and allied forces and the subsequent occupation cite the lack of a "casus belli" as being a main reason for their opposition.

By "casus belli" we mean:

"Casus belli is a Latin expression from the international law theory of Jus ad bellum. Formally, the expression (which can be translated as "risk of war" or "occasion for war") is the grievances section of a formal public declaration of war by a state, which lists: the grievances it has against another state which are, or may become, the cause of war; the intentions it has in prosecuting the war; and the actions the other state could take to avert conflict or restore peace. The declaration thus seeks to meet the Jus Ad Bellum criteria of "Just Cause", "Public Declaration", and Ultima Ratio ("Last Resort"). However formal declarations of war are rare nowadays, and casus belli is now widely used to simply mean a nation's motives for going to war, without reference to any other formal documents or proposed means of redress, and sometimes without even implying that these motives are just."

Most people DO want to have a very clear and definite "casus belli" before hostilities commence. NOT vague and unclear reasons.

Tom Clancy is one person who cites the lack of "casus belli" as being a motivation for his opposition to the war.

The Chicago Tribune ONLY yesterday gave in the editorial section of the paper NINE reasons cited by the administration as being reasons for going to war. And listed on the same page the "pros" and "cons" of these reasons.

NOT ONE person [or the Chicago Tribune for that matter] has even mentioned this fact about Iraq and the U.S.


This was the attempt by the air defense forces of Saddam to shoot down ONE U.S. aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone of southern Iraq.

In VIOLATION of the agreement that implemented the TRUCE that ending the ground war between Iraq and the coalition forces in 1991, Iraq WAS NOT TO fly combat aircraft OR move air defense units into the zone that has become the no-fly zone [north and south zones exist]. Without previously agreeing to the no-fly and no air defense requirements, the ground war would have continued.

[Saddam broke this part of the truce from the very start, in 1991, using helicopter gunships to suppress the Shiite revolt in the south of Iraq after the true was implemented.]

Saddam moved air defense units into the no-fly zone of southern Iraq where:

They first had no business being in those locations where found.

Secondly, they could not turn on their radars if THEY WERE THERE [in the no-fly zone]. [just turning on the radars of an air defense unit is considered to be a threat. Just as a person who has a holstered gun places his hand on the gun is considered to be a threat to use the gun!!]

And thirdly, it was totally impermissible to attempt to shoot down OR attempt to shoot down U.S. aircraft patrolling that zone. [this almost goes without saying, does it not??!!]

This the Iraqi, at the command of Saddam, did OVER and OVER. AND DID SO FOR OVER A PERIOD OF TWELVE YEARS!!!


That the air defense forces of Iraq were NOT ABLE over a period of twelve years to shoot down one American plane must go down as just one enormous exercise in futility. Demonstrates an incompetency that is hard to comprehend.

I know this is hard for some folks to understand, but when the military forces of one country shoot upon the military forces of another country, that is USUALLY considered to be WAR. Plain and simple. Saddam, by allowing his air defenses in a callous and untoward manner to shoot at American planes [and the planes of other nations as well], WAS WAR!!

A casus belli existed for TWELVE years prior to the invasion of 2003!!

Go here to see an entire web site devoted to the twelve year casus belli!!

And that is that!!


Wednesday, December 28, 2005


This is coolbert:

For over a century, the U.S. Army has realized that a very high percentage of American young men are unfit for military service.

This is both from physical and mental unfitness.

In time of war, of course, when large numbers of fit and able young men are required for military service, as was the case in both World War One [WW1] and War Two [WW2], this lack of fitness among American young men posed a significant problem. You CANNOT just scoop up a bunch of youths and expect them to perform in an able manner if they do NOT meet your standards. YOU WANT people to perform well in war AND SUCCEED!!

Consider these figures, thanks to Al Nofi and CIC:

[my pertinent comments in BOLD!!]

"A study of recruits being processed at Camp Jackson, South Carolina, in 1917, determined that while only 7.9-percent of white Northern men were illiterate, fully 36.5-percent of Southern whites were."

The U.S. Army, to my knowledge, was the FIRST organization to make wide-spread use of standardized aptitude tests. The RESULTS of these test really shocked the higher up military brass. The conclusion was that THE POPULACE OF THE UNITED STATES CONSISTED OF A NATION OF MORONS!!

"Fully 75-percent of men who tried to enlist in the Regular Army during the Spanish-American War were rejected as "lacking in legal, mental, moral, or physical qualifications."

Seventy-five percent were rejected!! That is amazingly high!! Presumably a lot of those rejected COULD find positions in the various militias [National Guard] units mustered during the war.

"During World War II, about 38-percent of white men were rejected for military service by reason of physical defect, and almost 58-percent of black men."

When you are speaking about thirty eight percent of the white men, you are beginning to talk about almost ONE-HALF of the adult military age populace being UNFIT according to some criteria. And this in a TIME OF WAR WHEN A HUGE NUMBERS GAME WAS PLAYED!!

"The most common medical reason cited by the U.S. Army during World War I for classifying a man IV-F (unfit for military service by reason of physical defect) was poor eyesight, 21.7-percent."

"True to its slogan, "A few good men," during the fiscal years 1938-1940, approximately 205,000 men volunteered to join the Marine Corps, but only 38,080 were accepted."

This is of course during the depression period prior to the war. That still is a small percentage of those applying to enlist being chosen!!

Stringent criteria for enlistment are NOT confined to the U.S. Army. This phenomenon is also observable for the British Army during WW2. And keep in mind that the British WERE WAY MORE STRAPPED FOR MANPOWER THAN WERE THE AMERICAN MILITARY!!

"During World War II, "psychological reasons" were cited for only 2.5% of men rejected for service by the British Army, but fully 10% of those rejected by the U.S. Army."

"Fully 40% of the men who volunteers for service in the British Army during the Crimean War were found unfit to bear arms by reason of physical, intellectual, or moral failings."


Stringent requirements apply not only to people, THEY ALSO APPLY TO DOGS AS WELL!!

"During World War II Americans volunteers 45,000 dogs for military service, of which only 18,000 were deemed suitable for testing, of which only 11,500 were accepted for training, which only 4,889 completed."

Consider, however, the modern statistics and demographics on the U.S. Army recruit and troop of the 1990's:

"Through the 1990s, the typical recruit in the U.S. Army was 20 years old, had a high school education (92-percent), came from a family that earned less than $50,000 a year (94-percent), was not married (88-percent), and was most likely from a two-parent household (62-percent)."

Your present U.S. Army troop is much more educated and presumably healthier than the counter-part of WW1 and WW2. Much more is expected of them. Dullards and physically unfit folks NEED not apply!! And that is that!!


Sunday, December 25, 2005


This is coolbert:

One of the criticisms heard during the Vietnam War, muted, was that the American Army went into the conflict too "heavy"

This criticism was leveled, after the fact, by some high ranking, influential officers, such as Colonel Summers and Colonel Hackworth.

By "heavy" is meant attempting to create a little bit of the United States in Vietnam. The U.S. military, during the years of conflict, built officer and enlisted clubs, both replete with slot machines and freely flowing liquor, swimming pools, and mobile trailers for senior officers, equipped with air conditioners.

This was NOT a lean and mean fighting machine, as would have been envisioned by Summers and Hackworth. Rather a military bloated and top-heavy with unnecessary "things" NOT germane to the fight.

Consider just this one bit of trivia from Vietnam, courtesy of Al Nofi and CIC:

"At the height of the Vietnam War the U.S. Army was operating more than 40 ice cream plants 'in country.'"

Those plants existed just to provide ICE CREAM for the U.S. troops. Obviously a morale booster, or so the top brass thought. But one does wonder, would a lean and mean fighting machine NOT have been better?

It would seem that priorities were just mixed up in the case of the ice cream plants.


Such a mentality does NOT confine itself to the Vietnam War or the American Army. It seems a profligate mentality has been present again, THROUGHOUT military history. In all ages you can find examples of "high living" on the part of armies and senior officers, presumably at the expense of fighting wherewithal.

Consider these other bits of trivia, as usual, thanks to Al Nofi and CIC:

"During World War II the U.S. constructed 233 outdoor movie theaters, 65 staged theaters, 95 softball and 35 baseball fields, 225 volleyball and 30 basketball courts, and 35 boxing rings complete with seating for spectators, on the 703.4 square miles of the Marianas Islands and Guam which works out to a total of 1.02 athletic facilities per square mile."

"Although reputed to be devoted to luxurious living, the citizens of the ancient Greek city of Sybaris, in southern Italy, were capable of "roughing it" in defense of their freedom, so that, for example, military regulations stipulated that a man on sentry duty was limited to one mattress, one sheet, one blanket, and no more than two pillows."

"During the Seven Years War, a rumor circulated among French troops in Germany that some of their generals had arranged to have special deliveries of water from the Seine, so that their coffee would taste just as it did in Paris."

"The typical Roman legionary fortress provided up to 7,500 square feet of space for the commanding officer, and about 50 for each of his legionaries."

"During the American Revolution, British Gen. Sir Henry Clinton was nicknamed "The Knight", because of his extremely frequent excursions into the country to go riding and fox hunting."

"In 1939 construction of a base on Wake Island was 730th on the Navy's list priorities, or, as one historian put it, 'far behind the officers club on Oahu.'"

It is reputed that when the Prussian Army took command of the battlefield at Rossbach, they found numerous pavilions of French noblemen who had fled the scene. Within the pavilions were found wigs and pomades of expensive taste!!

I have often thought that the actions of General Schwarzkopf were right on the money in the seven months leading up to the First Gulf War.

American troops were disembarked at the point of entry, and sent immediately to the desert.

NO luxuries awaited them.

They were kept away from the local populace, so there was no room for incidents.

Troops became acclimatized to the climate. This was important. They also learned to live rough in a harsh environment, and DID WITHOUT THE CREATURE COMFORTS. The emphasis was on preparing for soldiering and combat. This was done. And successfully too. Great kudos to the General and his handling of the situation.



This is coolbert:

Soldiers of armies throughout the world, and again THROUGHOUT history, have always had the need to seek out female companionship for romantic interludes.

[my pertinent comments as always in bold!!]

We are talking here of course about sexual liaisons.

These romantic liaisons should not be confused with the rape that occurs in wartime. This is NOT rape we are talking about here.

We are talking about a quid pro quo relationship. The soldier gets sex and the woman gets something in return. Money if she is a prostitute, food and other essentials if she is NOT a prostitute.

Among military men of all cultures in all historical eras, a manly virileness is often expressed, when not on the battlefield, by the number of sexual liaisons the troop can engage in. This does happen. Manliness is expressed in extreme displays and episodes of sexuality.

[in feudal Japan, helmets of samurai warriors were often decorated with antlers, horns, etc. AND the ears of rabbits!!?? Rabbits, because of their fecundity [ability to reproduce often and with numbers, are a symbol of virility.].

Here are number of examples that demonstrate the soldiers desire for female companionship or a romantic nature: [all these examples thanks to Al Nofi and CIC.]

"By mid-1943, over 80,000 French women had filed claims for children's benefits with the German occupation authorities."

These of course were French women consorting with the German invader. At the end of the war, these women were chased, caught, and had their heads shaved. A lot of interesting photos from that era were taken of the scenes made when crowds gathered to shave the heads of the "collaborators"!!

"During the mid-seventeenth century the normal complement of an infantry company in the Spanish Army was 75-100 soldiers and 3-8 prostitutes."

"It is estimated that during the late 1940s, American occupation troops in Japan spent an annual average of $200,000,000 on prostitutes."

A lot of seed money for future Yakuza [Japanese Mafia] crime activity came from the use of Japanese prostitutes by American troops. Yakuza have always controlled the brothels of Japan.

"Seed money"!! Is that an intentional play on words!!??

"During World War II an estimated one million soldiers, sailors, and marines availed themselves of the services of prostitutes in the Hotel Street district of Honolulu, a devoted band of patriotic ladies who never numbered more than about 300 at a time."

A little quick math tells you that this works out to about three "tricks" a day for each of three hundred "ladies" during that period. This of course assumes a year round schedule for over three and one half years!!

"During World War Two, a slightly different situation was present in Honolulu. During the war, over 7 million men were stationed in or passed through the city on their way to fight in the South Pacific. This, of course, provided a high demand for sex work, as some of the men coming through town hadn’t seen a woman for months. At any given time, over 200 women who had come over from the mainland were working on Hotel Street, a block full of brothels that charged three dollars for three minutes."

Three dollars for three minutes, and be quick about it!! Whoa boy!!

The entire milieu of Hotel Street was very well recounted in the James Joyce book, "From Here to Eternity".

"When the Duke of Alba's army marched from Italy to Flanders in 1567, the 400 or so courtesans who accompanied it were variously described as "pretty and worthy as princesses" and "shrews, meaner than men."

"So efficient an organizer was the Duke of Alba that in Naples between May and July of 1567 he managed to raise, organize into regiments, train, and put on the march for the Netherlands an army of 10,000 men and 2,000 courtesans."

One account says 400 courtesans, the other says 2,000. At any rate, it was a lot.

"courtesan - - a prostitute with a courtly , wealthy, or upper-class clientele"

Of course there are two downsides to this form of behavior.

One is illegitimacy. With all the sorry consequences of same.

"In 1658 the Spanish Army established a new garrison at Badajoz, northwest of Madrid, one result of which was that over the next year the illegitimacy rate in the city tripled."

The other downside being venereal disease.

Statistics regarding venereal disease are staggering in some circumstances.

Such as:

"By 1916 nearly a third of all Russian troops were reported to be suffering from venereal diseases."

"The venereal disease hospitalization rate in the British Army during World War I was 29.69 cases per thousand men on duty per year."

"Venereal Disease Rates in the Armies of 1914

Armies have long suffered from venereal disease. But even before the advent of miracle drugs, some armies had a lower infection rate than others. A good example can be seen by looking at the VD infection rates for the principal mass armies of Europe on the eve of World War I, in 1914.

Venereal Disease Rate, 1914
Army Rate
Austro-Hungarian 6.0 %
French 4.2
German 2.3
Italian 8.5
Russian 17.0

There were a number of reasons for the differences in the VD rate among these armies. The French and particularly the Germans, supervised the health of their troops better than the other armies listed, providing basic education in sexual hygiene, distributing condoms, and even organizing officially supervised brothels, steps that could easily reduce a man's danger of infection by as much as 90 percent."

"Venereal Disease in the U.S. Army Since 1829.

Venereal disease has been a major cause of personnel non-effectiveness in armies for centuries. The U.S. Army seems to have been keeping statistics on venereal disease since at least the late 1820s. They are rather revealing, particularly those from supposedly uptight Victorian times.

Venereal Disease Rate, 1829-1991
Period Situation Rate
1829-1838 Peace 60
1840-1846 Peace 70
1846-1848 Mexican War 90
1849-1854 Peace 70
1861-1865 Civil War 82
1880-1890 Peace 83
1895 Peace 74
1897 Peace 84
1917-1918 World War I 87
1941-1945 World War II 49
1950-1953 Korea 146
1965-1972 Vietnam 325
1990-1991 Gulf War na

Rate is the number of cases per thousand men on strength per year. It does not represent the percentage of men with a venereal condition, since one man can be infected several times."

"1861-1865 Civil War 82
1880-1890 Peace 83"

Please note that the peacetime rate for VD during the period 1880-1990 was actually slightly higher than the war time rate during the American Civil War!!??

Please also note the Vietnam war rate. That is one man in three!! And this will all the protection available at the time. Troops, because of the use of miracle drugs, did not fear getting VD. It was accepted as an acceptable hazard. NOT a big deal!!

To what extent troop efficiency and a lessening of combat ability was the result of venereal disease I am just not sure. In the age of modern drugs and treatments, VD is just not looked upon as a killer. With treatment, you can be cured of the disease. NOT so in olden times, prior to modern drugs. What happened to the troop and his ability to perform military tasks is just not clear to me.

Many have also heard about the French Foreign Legion, and it's supposed traveling brothels, to keep the troops happy. It IS a fact that a Dien Bien Phu, prostitutes whose duty was to service the French troops were among those captured by the Viet Minh. Evidently there was one group of "north African women", and another group of prostitutes to service the "other" troops. This may have been done for religious reasons??!!

Even as late as the 1990's, it was reputed, and probably true, that Serb warlords in Bosnia had imported and enslaved foreign young women to serve their troops AND the peace keeping contingents from foreign nations. This one brothel keeper was interviewed and was quite open and frank about his house of ill repute, even in the background flying the flags of the troops of the various nations that frequented his "establishment".

It seems that as long as wars are fought, and as long as armies exist, human nature being what it is, this sort of behavior will continue.


Saturday, December 24, 2005


This is coolbert:

Throughout the history of western armies, it seems the desire to consume alcoholic beverage has a been a major obsession.

I have blogged about the role that substances have played in militaries THROUGHOUT the world as a means to assuage the effects of combat for the trooper. But what I am talking about here goes way beyond the milieu of combat when it comes to alcohol consumption by the soldier common and otherwise [the officer class].

Alcohol is of course the substance of choice for western armies. Has been for a long time, and probably always will be. The desire for soldiers to get their hands on alcohol and consume SEEMS to be almost an overwhelming need. TOO much so in some cases. Soldiers HAVE always had the image of hard-drinkers, given to drink in excess. Overwhelming excess, as I have said.

Consider these bits of trivia, as taken from the CIC of Al Nofi:

[My comments as usual in bold.]

* "The 12,000 British troops who occupied Boston in the winter of 1775-1776, during the American Revolution, consumed an officially attested 468,750 gallons of porter and another 95,000 of rum."

* "During the reign of Charles II of Sweden (1697-1718), the daily army ration amounted to nearly two pounds of meat and two pounds of bread, plus small amounts of peas, butter, and salt, all of which could be washed down with two-and-a-half quarts of beer."

* "Declaring that "Many battles have been fought and won by soldiers nourished on beer, and the king does not believe that coffee drinking soldiers can be depended upon," in 1777 Frederick the Great barred his troops from imbibing of the latter beverage."

* "The daily ration of an English soldier during the late fifteenth century included two-thirds of a gallon of beer."

* "During World War II beer production in Syria, a mostly Moslem country, rose from 2.4 million liters a year to 7 million, largely to supply the needs of Allied troops stationed in the Middle East."

* "At the onset of the seventeenth century a soldier in one of Spain's famed tercios received a daily ration of two pounds of bread, a pound of meat, and a botella of wine, more than a half-gallon."

* "During the mid-seventeenth century it was common for Spanish troops to have a daily wine ration of 2-4 pints, which was actually less than that for day laborers back home, who usually got 6!"

* "During 1941, the British Empire devoted 80,000 tons of precious shipping to carry beer to its troops in North Africa."

* "In 1846-1847 the U.S. Navy reported 5,936 instances of flogging, 80 percent of which were somehow related to alcohol abuse."

Eighty percent of all offenses where flogging was mandated as a punishment were alcohol related!!

[during the first Gulf War, the commander of the MP battalion was asked how law abiding the troops in Saudi Arabia were. This commander replied that, "without women, cars AND ALCOHOL, there are almost no offenses committed by U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia!!" That would seem to say a lot.]

* "Observing a militia muster in the early 1800s, an American officer later wrote "I could wish that our Militia, instead of celebrating their feasts to Mars did not too much to Bacchus with carousing and drunkenness."

One of the MAIN reasons for joining the militia would BE to get drunk and carouse!!

These items of trivia concerning alcohol and the soldier could probably go on and on!!

As you might expect, for soldiers in the nations of northern Europe, beer is the drink of choice. For soldiers in the southern nations of Europe, wine is the drink of choice. For the officer corps, I might expect that the drink would be either distilled spirits or FINE wine of expensive taste.

It must be understood that until recently, the drinking of WATER was of itself a dangerous act. As I have said, in war, historically speaking, feet and water are the two biggest killers, even more so than combat itself. In the case of water, either not having enough water to drink, or drinking BAD water is the killer. Water, fouled, and laden with germs, was a greater danger to the average soldier than a musket ball on the battlefield!! Drinking beer or wine IS a viable alternative, and pleasurable for the troop at the same time.

[personal note: Alcohol, in the form of beer or wine, IS an excellent way to preserve perishable agricultural products. Beer from grains of course, and wine from grapes. Wine and beer DO provide a lot of calories. Essential in societies where there was NO dental care. Persons without teeth could get the necessary calories to conduct everyday activity from drinking alcoholic beverages. Alcohol, in whatever form, WAS and IS now an everyday part of daily meals in many parts of the world.]

That photo at the start of this blog is of the statue of Bacchus, god of wine. He offers you a drink - - - TAKE!!


Strategy Page.

This is coolbert:

I have previously mentioned the Strategy Page web site.

See this excellent web site by clicking here.

Strategy Page is just chock full of good stuff for those are read about and are interested in the military.

One such section of the web site is called the "Combat Information Center" . Abbreviated as CIC. Written by a man named Al Nofi .

CIC describes itself as, "Analysis, facts, and figures about military conflict".

The most recent issue of CIC consists of:

Al Nofi's CIC

Issue #140, August 15th, 2004
This Issue...
Infinite Wisdom
la Triviata
Short Rounds
Watermelon Man
"Isn't that a Lovely Sight?"
"And a Hearty Laugh was Had by All"
War and the Muses - The Italian Seaman"s Prayer


Infinite Wisdom are quotations from the "great" and not so great.

Such as:

"Battles decide the fate of nations"

-- Frederick

Quotations dealing with war. Remember what Churchill said about quotations? "The uneducated man can learn a lot by studying quotations". I would qualify that by saying that the EDUCATED man can learn a lot by studying quotations. Perhaps even more so. An educated man has the proper context to understand the quotation BETTER!

"la Triviata" are bits of trivia, as you might expect, dealing with war. Again, such as:

"In 1943 the U.S. Army secretly activated two special units, the 150th and 151st Anti-Aircraft Artillery Companies, for experiments in using women in gun crews, something that the Russians had been doing for several years."

Short rounds are small articles, of a short essay type actually, dealing as you might expect, with delvings of all sorts. I.E.:

"Isn't that a Lovely Sight?"

"On the evening of Dec 6, 1941, the Commander of the Army's Hawaiian Department, Lt. Gen. Walter G. Short and his wife attended a social function at the Schofield Barracks Officer's Club. They left the club about 9:30 p.m."

At last count there were 140 entries in CIC. A lot of stuff to go over. And just a plethora or valuable information that it says a lot concerning the depth of knowledge and learning of Al Nofi.

I recommend Strategy Page and CIC highly.


Friday, December 23, 2005


This is coolbert:

Yesterday, 22 December, was the day the TSA returned to the old regulations regarding what passengers can carry aboard the airlines with them.

A return almost exactly to the days prior to 9/11. And this after four years!!??

Persons boarding airlines WILL be allowed to carry knives on their person with blades up to four inches long, scissors, nail clippers, BUT NO BOX CUTTERS.

[with regard to the latter item, box cutters, persons prior to 9/11 WERE allowed to bring box cutters on the airlines with them. Of course, we all realize a lot of persons spent their time during an airline flight opening boxes with box cutters!!]

Michael Savage on his program last night mentioned that in addition, cabin attendants [stewardesses], are STILL being taught to COOPERATE with hi-jackers. NOT to resist them. This again, four years after 9/11.

NO! NO! A thousand times NO!!

It will do NO good to cooperate with hi-jackers in the future. YOU must be prepared to fight them, NOT cooperate with them. Their intention IS to kill you, no matter how much you cooperate. This policy of teaching cooperation is 1000 % wrong.



Flight crew AND passengers need to be prepared to FIGHT the hijackers, and FIGHT TO THE DEATH!! The hijackers MUST be not just overpowered, they must be KILLED [you cannot be sure if they have a bomb on their person]!!

All these flight crews need to be taught a martial art such as Krav Maga, and NOW!!

DO NOT teach cooperation!! It will ONLY get you killed.



Thursday, December 22, 2005

106 mm.

This is coolbert:

None of you is going to believe this.

After posting my last entry about ONTOS and the 106 mm recoilless rifle, I am scanning the web and come across this web site devoted to BRINGING BACK THE RECOILLESS RIFLE AND AN ONTOS LIKE VEHICLE!!


[remember that extract of the article by the Marine "Jordan" just a few days ago about the inadequacy of U.S. weapons against the buildings in Iraq?!]


Read the whole article by clicking here.

Whoa boy!!



This is coolbert:

Here is another very strange combat vehicle.

[this is another weapon that creates the same reaction as did the "Pogo" or the "Davy Crockett"!!]

ONTOS [means "The Thing"] in Greek.

An armored [very lightly armored] tracked vehicle sporting no less than six [6] 106 mm recoilless rifles. Had four integral .50 caliber aiming rifles coaxially mounted with the recoilless rifles.

Was designed as an anti-tank weapons system. To be used by the U.S. Marine Corps.

Designed to fire a rocket with a shaped charged. A shaped charge capable of defeating the armor of any Soviet main battle tank of the era [1950's and 1960's].

When first seeing a picture of "The Thing", almost everyone has the same reaction, "what is that??"

Well, this is reasonable. It, "The Thing", just does not look right.

ONTOS did fill a void for the infantryman that existed at the time. The anti-tank guided missile [ATGM] did not exist at the time in a suitable variety. This weapons system WOULD have provided support and protection for the infantry from a massed enemy [Soviet] tank attack.

Was NEVER used in the role it was intended for.

Was used in Vietnam. And effectively too. WAS successful in taking out enemy bunkers. Supporting the infantry of the Marines in an assault. Was also successful in firing a "beehive" round. Hundreds of flechettes would emerge from ONE round and mow down an entire jungle and anyone [enemy troop] in front of the machine.

"APERS round. The APERS round converts the RCL into a giant shotgun for use against infantry. The projectile is filled with 6,000 13-grain flechettes (looking like nails with fins) stacked nose-to-tail. The APERS round resembles the HEP round, but it has a nose fuze that allows it to function at the muzzle or at a preset distance from the muzzle of the RCL. The APERS round also has a tracer element in the base of the projectile."

NO, not hundreds of flechettes, six thousand flechettes!! Don't stand in front of if you can help it!!

A word about those 106 mm recoilless rifles.

This recoilless rifle DID fire a round that could defeat the armor of any Soviet main battle tank of the time.

The rifle was capable of firing four rounds in a minute, after which it required a fifteen minute cool down time, the barrel would get so hot. [gunners were equipped with asbestos gloves to be able to handle the barrel after firing.].


The rifle could fire one round a minute forever and not require a cool down time.

Keep in mind, however.

Soviet tank tactics called for "flooding" an area with a massive number of tanks. More tanks than the defenders could shoot at. ONTOS DID give the gunners a better chance to engage more tanks quicker with more rounds more accurately. This concept WAS valid.


Most experts would say that the gunners of ONTOS could probably get off ONLY a few shots and hits and destroy a FEW tanks before ONTOS became the zero target of a bunch of Soviet tankers. An ONTOS would NOT last long in a fight against a whole bunch of Soviet tanks.



This is coolbert:

Americans in general have had a lot to say about the French recently.

The French decision NOT to back or support the current U.S. military effort in Iraq is seen as a typical French response.

Americans in general view the French as "cheese eating hands-uppers" [persons prone to surrendering]. Americans in general seem to view the French as snooty, stuck-up people with big chips on their shoulders [especially when it comes to America].

Americans in general see the French as UNGRATEFUL people prone to BACKSTABBING WHEN THEY GET THE CHANCE!!

Some would even suggest that it is NOT EVEN WORTH IT to have the French on your side in war to begin with. In the minds of many people, "the French have not had a winner since Napoleon!!"

Is such derisive and condescending an attitude justified?? Are the French "cheese eating hands-uppers"??

Let the reader decide for themselves!!

Consider the many wars the French have fought in over the MILLENNIUM!!

Judge for yourself French military prowess.

[Working chronologically backwards from the present time].

The First Gulf War [1991].

During the first day of the four day ground offensive to liberate Kuwait, the French Light Armored Division, on the left wing of the Coalition forces, had to move the furthest distance in the shortest time to achieve their objective. This they did in an able, even admirable fashion.

Count this as a plus.

French Expeditionary Forces. [post-Algeria]

French army and French Foreign Legion [FFL] troops operating in former French African colonies have forestalled wider wars [Chad], or intervened where was necessary to prevent bloodshed when a general governmental collapse occurred. Such as in the Ivory Coast recently. Even further prior to that, the FFL restored order in Kolwezi, the Congo, in the aftermath of an incursion by "rebels" from Angola. Also, French troops were successful in stemming a revolt by indigenous "kanaks" on the French colonial island of New Caledonia.

Count these as very minor pluses.

[some may object to the inclusion of the FFL as a "French military force", seeing as the FFL is comprised of foreign nationals, NOT French citizens. This IS the French military in that the officers are French citizens, and the FFL is armed, trained, and operates in the fashion as would ANY other French military unit.]


A six year long effort [1954-1960] by the French military to suppress an insurgency by Algerian rebels was NOT successful. 500,000 French troops backed by the panoply of French military power [and an appropriate ruthlessness on the part of the French too!!] just was NOT able to defeat the rebels and restore a colonial status to Algeria. Militarily the French DID have successes, but in the end the rebels were ABLE to OUTLAST the French and the independent nation of Algeria emerged from the fighting. From a military standpoint, the French can said to have been successful, but from a political standpoint, the will was lacking, defeat and retreat becoming the outcome.

Algeria can be counted as a minus.

First Indo-China War.

This was a huge disaster for the French. Battlefield fiascos culminating in the defeat at Dien Bien Phu were humiliating in the extreme. The effort to maintain Indo-China as a French colony seemed to be doomed from the start. And yet the French persisted with a force again of 500,000 men. But DID NOT prevail. The French just seemed to be constantly outfought and out-thought!! Even more so than Algeria, Indo-China, with climactic battlefield loss, was a traumatic defeat.

Indo-China is a big minus.


The French DID send a battalion of very good infantry as a contribution to the United Nations effort in Korea. Fought with DISTINCTION against Red Chinese troops. This battalion, subsequently redeployed to Indo-China was ANNIHILATED IN COMBAT with the Viet Minh!!??

Korea is a very minor plus.

Second World War [WW2].

What can one say about French performance in this war?

Almost nothing good!!

In six weeks, the Germans were able to inflict more casualties on the French than they were able to inflict in all of the four years of the First World War [WW1].

The French DID have good equipment and sufficient manpower.

And the Maginot Line was successful. It WAS NOT attacked by the Germans, as it was so formidable a defensive position [s]. The concept of the Maginot Line was valid, IF the fortifications HAD BEEN built to fortify the ENTIRE French border.

French collapse seems to have been more psychological than anything else. A defensive mentality was overcome by much more aggressive German offensive tactics. Leadership was totally lacking, It has even been suggested that General Gamelin, the French commander, intentionally was derelict in his duty. Allowed for a German victory!!

The demise of the French role as a great world power can be traced directly to the catastrophic loss of WW2!! France has never regained the eminence it had prior to the outbreak of the war.

WW2 for the French is just one big defeat and humiliation.

[Colonel Tsuji rates the French troops around twelfth or thirteenth in fighting ability on his list. This is VERY LOW on the totem pole. French troops did fight the Japanese in the latter days of WW2. The FFL troops in Indo-China making a three hundred mile march to join forces with Nationalist Chinese forces.]

WW2 for the French MUST rate a very big minus across the board!!

World War One [WW1].

The French DID emerge victors at the end of WW1.

But at a terrible cost.

French territory was occupied for four years by Germans troops, the FRONT of the war cutting a swath of devastation through the French countryside. [even to this day, nearly a century later, flying over the FRONT of WW1, you can see and pick out WHERE the FRONT WAS, the land has been devastated to such a degree from the effects of WW1. Driving though the area, you can see where roadside plaque after plaque commemorates the location of a "village that died for France". A small town destroyed in the combat and NEVER rebuilt.

[So badly battered is this part of French landscape that it is more or less impossible to use a compass in the ordinary manner, there is so much steel in the ground from exploded ordnance!!]

French resistance to German invasion WAS heroic in the extreme. The French leadership made the decision, epitomized by the combat action at Verdun, to resist at ALL costs, regardless of loss of lives or treasure. This resistance was successful, but again, only through great loss of life. The French common soldier WAS willing to sacrifice themselves on an epic scale, this sacrifice almost taking the form of a religious experience [while at the same time themselves inflicting very heavy casualties on the German attacker!!].

[keep in mind what Patton said: "No guy ever won a war by dying for his country. You win by making the other poor guy die for HIS country!!]

[please keep in mind that the French DO fight bravely and are NOT some gutless cowards. On the contrary!! It seems that French debacles are due primarily to failures at the highest echelons of leadership, military and civilian, and their ineptness or downright foolishness!! French battlefield actions of WW1 displayed stubbornness and tenacity from the common soldier that IS amazing!! ]

World War One counts as a plus, but a very qualified plus.

Franco-Prussian War, 1870.

This too can be counted as a major debacle for the French. At the time, the French WERE probably considered to be the foremost military power of Europe [even up until the start of WW2, the French WERE considered to be the foremost military power of Europe. After WW2, NO!!]

The upstart Prussian power invaded France and DID defeat the French Army in short order, and did so in a way very humiliatingly to the French. Entire French armies were forced to surrender to superior Prussian performance. A huge indemnity and territorial concession was the price for French submission to the Prussian invader and victor.

[The French ARE a proud people. That indemnity the French had to pay to the Prussians was calculated at $3 billion dollars. An enormous sum at the time. It was felt that this debt would cripple the French for three decades at least! Through a massive patriotic effort, the French were able to pay off the debt in three years!!]

The Franco-Prussian War of 1870 must count as a very big minus.

Mexican War.

The machinations of Napoleon the Third led to the Mexican war.

Interventionism and despotic rule in Mexico by a French government attempting to take advantage of the situation in the western hemisphere during the American Civil War. Some have suggested that an occupied Mexico would make a springboard for a French invasion of the United States. The French intervening on the part of the Confederacy. Napoleon the Third is said to have an intense hatred of all things American.

This Mexican War did NOT go well for the French. The Battle of Puebla was an embarrassing defeat for the French, a peasant Mexican army routing the French on the battlefield by stampeding a herd of cattle into the French ranks!! A protracted guerilla war on the part of the Mexican populace, followed by Union victory in the American Civil War [and the participation of an American Legion fighting on the side of the Mexicans], required the French to beat a quick retreat from Mexico, abandoning Maximilian, the brother-in-law of Napoleon, to a firing squad.

Mexico counts as a minor minus.


Combined French and British expeditionary forces at war with Imperial Russia. More casualties from disease and other non-combat related fatalities than from combat itself!! Think of Crimea, Balaclava, Sebastopol, Florence Nightingale, Charge of the Light Brigade, etc.

Considered to be a draw. Combined French and British forces fought to a standstill with the Russians. A negotiated settlement was the result.

Crimea counts neither as a plus or a minus.

We now reach the era of Napoleon.

Napoleon is generally considered by a consensus of military historians to be the single greatest general that EVER lived!

War as it has been fought in the world wars of the twentieth century are a legacy of the innovations of Napoleon. Large scale conscription to fill out the ranks of enormous armies. A harnessing of the industrial potential of a nation to mass produce war munitions to equip those armies.

[in addition to his generalship, Napoleon was also head of state, supreme dictator, and Emperor. Modern French institutions such as the educational and legal systems owe their basic precepts and concepts to the ideas first instituted by Napoleon two hundred years ago now. The mind of Napoleon was extremely active, fertile, and even inspired. Napoleon WAS a man of protean talents!!]

Napoleon did see himself as a man embodying the beliefs of the French Revolution, "Liberty, Fraternity, Equality". Saw himself as a man whose mission was to spread these beliefs to the ENTIRE world. All at the same time of course while living the life of an EMPEROR!!

[it can be perhaps said that Napoleon had a "JESUS CHRIST" complex. Saw himself as savior of the world, and believed it!!]

With Napoleon commanding, French armies were almost totally victorious for a span of nearly fifteen years, defeating at one time or another all the major powers of Europe and making those foreign powers beholden to Napoleon and French interests.

[from 1796 until the Russian campaign of 1812, the French army commanded by Napoleon was more or less invincible, defeating opponents in spectacular fashion on many occasions. It was only the defeat [1812] in Russian, along with loss to the combined forces of the Grand Alliance, and the final defeat to Wellington at Waterloo that ended the career of Napoleon.]

The wars of the Napoleonic era for France can be counted as very big pluses with very big minuses as well.

Seven Years War.

French involvement in the coalition warfare against the Prussian army of Frederick the Great was anything but a success. French performance was POOR!!

At Rossbach [November 1756], French forces fled the battlefield in total rout and disarray. In a humiliating manner. [think here the evacuation from the U.S. embassy in Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War. Helicopters picking up numbers of fleeing evacuees. That is the type of humiliation I am thinking of!!!]

French involvement in the Seven Years War can only be considered a big minus.

During the era when linear, black-powder warfare was developed and brought to an apogee by Gustavus [mid-1600's], the French were the EQUALS OF AND QUITE OFTEN THE MASTERS over their opposition.

The names of Vauban and Turenne are most significant from this period.

Vauban was the MASTER of siege craft as practiced at the time. The methods, techniques, and tactics of Vauban were the standard by which all others were judged.

Henri de La Tour, Vicomte de Turenne, was a master of mobile linear black-powder warfare. That France under the rule of Louis XIV [the "Sun King"] became the foremost power and cultural influence in all of Europe is due in part to the military victories and inspired leadership of Turenne.

[Napoleon mentions Turenne as being one of the "Great Captains" [and the only Frenchman on the list of Napoleon]. As I said in a previous blog, when thinking of the "Great Captains", think of men from the 19th century such as Wellington, Lee, Grant, von Moltke the Elder.]

During the advent of linear black-powder warfare, the French rate a plus.

Hundred Years War.

English kings for a period of one hundred years fought a series of wars with the French over rights to contested lands on the European mainland proper. Think here battles of Crecy and Agincourt, Joan of Arc the wife of Noah. [That is a joke!!]. Ultimate victory to the French, the English kings having to renounce claims to "French territory". Credit French perseverance in this case.

The Hundred Years War counts as a plus for the French with significant minuses.

[At Crecy and Agincourt both, English bowmen slaughtered French knights in prolific numbers. At Agincourt alone, over one thousand French knights who had only the DAY BEFORE BEEN BESTOWED WITH THE TITLE OF "SIR" were killed!!!]

The Crusades.

French involvement in the First Crusade was considerable.

Among the four generally recognized leaders of the First Crusade there can be found a very strong Frankish [French] influence.

Raymond of Toulouse was obviously a Frenchman,

Godfrey of Bouillon was a man of Flemish, Frankish [French], and German background.

Bohemond [the uncle] of Taranto and Tancred de Hauteville [the nephew] were both nobility from what is now Italy. However, by heritage Normans [Normandy] of Norse [Northmen] ancestry, practicing cultural mores strongly influenced by Frankish [French] society of the time.

[Also count Hugh of France and Robert of Normandy as significant contributors to the First Crusade.]

Success of the First Crusade [the only unqualified successful Crusade] can be attributed to the leadership of these men, their retainers, liegemen [knights], and men-a-foot, almost all without exception being of similar cultural background [Frankish].

Count the First Crusade as a plus.

Crusades subsequent to the First Crusade also had very significant involvement of the French.

I am thinking here about the Crusades led by the French kings that go by the name of Louis.

[these would be the Second Crusade [Louis VII] and the Eighth Crusade [Louis IX].]

Without exception, these Crusades were abysmal failures, sometimes shockingly so!! French crusaders led by the various Louis in all cases DID NOT EVEN REACH THE HOLY LAND!! NOT ONLY NOT REACHING THE HOLY LAND, BUT BEING ANNIHILATED IN ALMOST OBSCENELY EASY FASHION BY THE SARACENS THE FRENCH CAME TO CONQUER!!!

Count the crusades led by French kings named Louis as being very big minuses.

The Campaigns of Charlemagne.

[before discussing Charlemagne, let me explain that Charlemagne and the Franks of his time were NOT French as we understand the French today. The Frankish kingdom of Charlemagne comprised the area of land we now call France, Germany, northern Italy. Charlemagne himself was of German ancestry, as were the Frankish people in general. His palace was in Aachen, in what is now Germany! The Franks at the time of Charlemagne were more or less divided into the west Franks, and the east Franks. A cultural dominion more than anything else. From the former was to emerge France as we know it. From the latter is to emerge Germany as we know it. Charlemagne DID encourage literacy, learning, and a resurrection of the Latin of the Romans. From his efforts, France, the French language and culture did develop and could be recognized as such several centuries later.]

Charlemagne did embark on a series of military campaigns over a period of twenty years that united much of western Europe under his rule. Charlemagne, notwithstandidng his military campaigns, was a relatively benevolent ruler, even enlightened. Reunited Europe as it had not been from the fall of Rome. Ended for all practical purposes the "Dark Ages". Set the framework and standard for what was to follow. The ideal of the Christian, chivalrous knight ["Sir Knight"] came into being during this period. MOST epitomized by the valorous knight Roland [Hrodland, Orlando], a liegeman of Charlemagne whose death in a rearguard action while fighting in Spain is the basis for the epic poem OF FRANCE, "The Song of Roland"!!


Count the campaigns of Charlemagne as big pluses, both in the military and cultural spheres.

Finally, the earliest record of French [Gallic] fighting ability is from the time of Julius Caesar.

The effort of the Romans under the command of Caesar to subjugate the pagan tribesmen of Gaul [what would eventually become France] was successful. As recounted in the chronicles of Caesar, "The Gallic Wars".

The Gauls, a branch of the Celtic cultural domain, DID put up a prolonged resistance to the invasion of the Roman legions. It was only with the greatest of difficulty that the Romans emerged triumphant, and then at great cost to themselves.

Caesar did employ extreme brutality in suppressing the independence of the Gauls, who seemed to have cherished their freedom and way of life. On one instance, Caesar ordered that AFTER surrender of the Gauls, the right hands of the Gallic young men were to be cut off, to forestall further rebellion!! This WAS done!!

[since 95 % of the people in the world are right handed, cutting off the right hands of the young men meant they could NOT use weapons with proficiency any more!!]

Even when marshalling their forces under the command of the Gallic leader Vercingetorix, the Gauls could not prevail over the Romans, the siege of Alesia being the climax to Gallic resistance.

[the Romans had to fight in two directions at once during the siege of Alesia, fighting as soldiers against the warrior mentalities of the Gauls. The Gauls were brave and determined, but COULD NOT prevail over the superior organization, technology, tactics of the Romans, and the leadership of Caesar!!]

[General Giap says that in such wars, a PEOPLE united and organized having inspired leadership CANNOT be beaten. The campaigns of Caesar against the Gauls seems to suggest otherwise!!??]

Count the Roman invasion and subjugation of Gaul as a big minus for the Gallic peoples of the region.

There you have it. Over two thousand years of military history to contemplate!! And a very mixed bag, is it not!!??

I think the biggest consideration for French success or failure in war is the leadership. Good leadership with valid goals and the French fight with great vigor and elan [spirited action]. Otherwise, NOT with vigor or elan!! Is this not the case for almost any army of any time in history??!!

[the world ELAN is of course a French word. To this day, military units WORLD-WIDE may adopt a motto using either Latin OR French. Think of Semper Paratus [Always Prepared], OR Semper Fideles [Always True].



Sunday, December 18, 2005


This is coolbert:

Some of you may remember my previous post of Sunday, September 11, 2005 dealing with the proposed future markets in terrorist incidents. A market [Policy Analysis Market]that would "trade" in futures. Predictions that an event ofa terrorist nature was going to occur or not occur would be "traded" as would conventional futures on say a commodities market.

And how this "market", a proposal by DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration], was shot down by a group of very liberal senators before it could even get off the ground. Reasoning on the part of SOME was that a concept was "immoral".

Is a non-entity from the U.S. governments standpoint.

It was suggested that such a market could exist,
but in PRIVATE hands. And this was proposed
and a concern I believe out of England had a web site
up and going for this purpose. But it seems nothing ever came of

Well, it does seem that there IS a web site up and going for
future predictions. NOT only of terrorist events, but events of
international portent too. You can, it seems may a futures
prediction on ALMOST any event.

Go here to see the web site.

Go here to see the entire StrategyPage web site. Excellent web site for all those interested in the military and things military.

Advertised as:

StrategyPage's Prediction Market
"Many minds make quick work of uncertainty."

From the types of predictions made, you get a sense of what this
"futures" market is all about. Predictions such as:

"A major official of the EU or any European country will lose his
or her job for publicly denying the Holocaust or praising Nazi

"A Hurricane hits the Iberian Peninsula during the 2006 Atlantic
Hurricane Season."

"A Democrat filibuster will succeed in forcing the withdrawal of
Samuel "Scalito" Alito's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court."

"Diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Venezuela will be

This is a notional futures trading web site.
NOT really trading real futures with real money.
Is "play money" sort of stuff. Paper trading at
the virtual level with a great degree of sophistication.
You have an account, buy or sell futures. If you are correct
about the prediction, you make money, if not correct,
you lose money. OR, if you have "sold short"
[a stock trading term and concept that most folks
find hard to believe is true], you win and make money by
the prediction NOT COMING TRUE!!

This is good stuff!! Entertainment and serious at the same time.
This site says that it is FREE for now, but
in November they will charge for trading. I am not sure
what November they are talking about?In my opinion,
to charge for the virtual trading would be a mistake.
That sort of thing on the web turns a lot of folks off.
One very impressive and attractive feature of the WWW is the
ability of the average person to get things that in the past were
once available only to the few, and then at a big cost.

And the site has an association with Tom Clancy.

The great novelist.

That of itself is indicative of the seriousness of
this virtual enterprise.

Tom Clancy is a man that in addition to be a novelist, is a man who
IS also a consultant/advisor/etc. to the military.

If the effort to do virtual trading in "terrorist futures" WILL NOT be
done by the government, then private concerns, backed by the resources
of someone like Tom Clancy can do the job. NOTHING wrong with that!!


Thursday, December 15, 2005


This is coolbert:

Recent developments [well, at least since the late 1960's and later], seem to favor the "bullpup" type of assault rifle.

An assault rifle that to the uninitiated, seems to be "weird" looking, futuristic.

NOT a rifle design that "looks" like the traditional rifle the common person is accustomed to.

By "bullpup" I would define a rifle, assault variety, short in length [a mini-rifle by conventional standards], but possessing a lot of firepower.

The most single significant feature of these rifles is the location of the magazine well. To the rear of the trigger, not forward as in most conventional assault rifle designs.

[a modern assault rifle would be defined by characteristics, such as:

Having night sights, high capacity magazine [30 rounds], pistol grip stock [said to be essential for urban warfare, one hand gripping the rifle, one hand free to scale an object], semi-automatic or automatic selector switch, quick breakdown and ease of maintenance, etc.]

Exactly what advantage is obtained by having the magazine well to the rear of the trigger and not forward is a mystery to me?? It is not intuitive as to what advantage is gained by placing the magazine well where it is placed. Perhaps it has to do with barrel length and ease of insertion of a full magazine. I am just not sure.

"Bullpup refers to a firearm configuration in which the firearm action (or mechanism) and magazine are located behind the trigger, increasing the barrel length relative to the overall weapon length, thus permitting shorter weapons for the same barrel length or longer barrels for the same weapon length."

Included in this category of “bullpup” assault rifles are the:

British Enfield L85.

Austrian Steyr AUG.

French FEMAS.

South African Vektor CR-21.

[the latter weapon, the South African is based upon the Kalashnikov action.]

Australian AICW.

[The AICW has built-into the weapon from the start a rifle AND a 40 mm grenade launcher.]

[Please note the use of the optical sights as incorporated in the L85, the AUG, the CR-21, and the AICW.]

In some cases, these "futuristic" designs are not so futuristic, the AUG and the FEMAS first being developed in the early 1970's. These weapons are around thirty years old!!

For those can travel the web, here is a more inclusive list of existing bullpup designs:

Examples of bullpup firearms
Afanasiev TKB-011M
Bushmaster M17S
Vektor CR-21
Enfield SA80
FN F2000
FN P90
IMI Tavor TAR-21
Interdynamics MKR
Korobov TKB-408
Korobov TKB-022
Pancor Jackhammer
Steyr ACR
Steyr AUG
Type 86
Valmet M82
Walther G22
Walther WA 2000

Impressive!! Such a ferment of weapons design. It seems a lot of folks all over the world like and want bullpup type rifles. The future is tomorrow and NOW!!



This is coolbert:

In my last blog entry, it was mentioned by Jordan that the current squad automatic weapon being used by U.S. forces in Iraq gets a thumbs down.

This of course is the Squad Automatic Weapon [SAW]. The M249.

My impressions were originally that this weapon was the answer to the century long dilemma of WHAT-WEAPON-IS-TO-BE-THE-SQUAD-LEVEL-AUTOMATIC-WEAPON utilized by the U.S. infantry squad. The weapon that lays down the base of fire for the infantry squad and is supported by the rest of the squad members, each using the M-16 rifle.

Evidently, the SAW, M249 is not the answer?!

[at least, according to the letter from this Marine, Jordan.]

The objections seem to be with regard to the caliber and the tendency of the SAW to jam under the dusty, sandy conditions encountered by U.S. troops in Iraq.

The caliber of the SAW is said to not be large enough, nor have the penetration power or stopping ability desired.


Troops in Iraq are, according to Jordan, are using the M240 Medium Machine Gun [MMG] as the weapon of resort, and liking it. A de-mounted machine gun taken into combat for squad level actions. A MMG used to lay down the base of fire for the remainder of the squad to maneuver by fire, using leaps and bounds.

The 7.62 mm NATO round fired by the M240 seems to achieve the desired effect. And the M240 DOES NOT JAM under the sandy, dusty conditions the troops encounter in Iraq.

Rather than using the SAW, the M240 is being used where ever possible.

Is this the answer then, to the squad automatic weapon problem ??

It is important to keep in mind that the M240 was INTENDED to be used as a vehicle mounted weapon. This was a major consideration in the design of the weapon FROM THE START.

[a variant does exist for a ground mount, dismounted unit.]

The M240 is an improved version of the M60 machine gun. The M60 in turn, was developed from the German World War Two [WW2] machine gun, the MG42.

During the Vietnam War, American infantry DID use the M60 as the squad automatic weapon. To lay down the base of fire essential for fire and maneuver using leaps and bounds.

At the time, the M60 was NOT a beloved weapon by all. It was a crew served weapon, belt fed, firing the 7.62 NATO round, and WAS effective, BUT NOT UNIVERSALLY LIKED!!

"Fighting between the big-round and small-round groups reached a peak in the early 1960s, when test after test showed the "puny" .223 Remington round fired from the AR-15 allowed an 8 soldier unit to vastly outgun an 11 soldier unit armed with M14's, and beat the typical NVA unit armed with AK47's. In 1964, the US Army started replacing their M14's with the M16"

Again, effective, but was also seen as having drawbacks. These included being heavy [20 lbs.], having a very rapid expenditure of ammunition, a barrel that had a tendency to overheat [quick barrel change was incorporated into the design of the weapon from the start, spare barrels being carried!!], and being SUBJECT TO REPEATED JAMMING UNDER DUSTY CONDITIONS!!

[when offered this weapon [the M60], the Israelis TURNED IT DOWN. Their concern was the REPEATED JAMMING UNDER DUSTY CONDITIONS!!]

[in the eyes of some, that the Israelis turned the M60 down is very compelling evidence that the weapons IS NO GOOD!! The opinion of the Israeli DOES carry a lot of weight in the eyes of military experts world-wide] Israelis are said to possess so much combat experience and have studied things militarily so well, that their opinions count in a marked and profound way!!]

And of course, between the M60 and the M16 rifle was an ammunition incompatibility. The two weapons fired a different round. NOT interoperable.

Heaviness was also seen as a significant drawback to the M60. Combined weight of the M60 plus a standard belt of ammunition [200 rounds] was about forty pounds. This in addition to the standard fighting load the combat soldier is already bogged down with. It was usual for the biggest, strongest man in any given infantry squad to be the M60 gunner. It was also standard in Vietnam for each infantryman to carry one belt of 200 7.62 mm belted rounds for the M60 and maybe even a spare barrel in ADDITION to his own standard combat load. This was a lot of extra weight for each infantryman to carry.!!

[it should be recalled that the BAR in Korea had one man designated as ammo bearer. What was originally NOT intended to become a crew served weapon became one!!]

So? Will the U.S. infantry squad return to almost the same situation that existed forty years ago?? Rejecting the SAW and adopting the M240 as the squad automatic weapon?

I cannot say.

This is not an easy call.

A lot of things have to be taken into consideration. Apparent better stopping power and reliability of the M240 have to be balanced with the weight factor [weight of the M240 is twenty five pounds. That plus the weight of a standard belt of 200 7.62mm rounds is 45 pounds!!] and lack of ammunition compatibility between the M240 and the M-16.

This is the type of call that drives the officers of general staffs of armies all over the world crazy!!


Saturday, December 10, 2005


This is coolbert:

Here is an extract from an excellent web site, "Atlas Shrugs". Is a letter from a Marine regarding the war in Iraq, U.S. weaponry, the enemy, tactics, enemy weaponry, etc.

See this web site and the complete article at:

Done by Pamela. Very sexy looking young lady.

[As is usual, my comments in bold!!]

This was received from a friend whose son who just returned from

Jordan, who was on his first leave since returning from Iraq.

Jordan spent 7 months at "Camp Blue Diamond" in Ramadi. Aka: Fort

1) The M-16 rifle: Thumbs down. Chronic jamming problems with the
talcum powder like sand over there. The sand is everywhere.
The M-4 carbine version is more popular because it's lighter and
shorter, but it has jamming problems also. They like the ability
to mount the various optical gun sights and weapons lights on the
picanttiny rails, but the weapon itself is not great in a desert

They all hate the 5.56mm (.223) round. Poor penetration on the
cinderblock structure common over there and even torso hits can't
be reliably counted on to put the enemy down.

This has been the complaint about the M-16
EVER since Vietnam!! From the time the M-16 was first
introduced in large numbers in Vietnam, the jamming
problem was always mentioned. And a lot of solutions
were proposed. First it was to chrome the chamber of
the rifle. So that the rounds would better eject.
Then it was for the troop commanders to make sure
that preventive maintenance was done daily. Then it
was to change the powder charge of the round back
to what was originally intended by the inventor, Stoner.
Then it was to incorporate the forward assist
handle added by the Army to the original design
after the fact. Etc.

The M-4 is of course a modified M-16. Shortened stock,
a variety of sights, etc. But the basic mechanism is the same.
If the M-16 is susceptible to jamming, so will be the M-4.

The consistency of the sand in that part of the world
seems to be a big problem. A talcum powder like consistency,
as mentioned. This was first noticed when U.S. tanks deployed
to Saudi during the First Gulf War. Filters on the tanks
were not of the right type to block the sand found in Saudi.
The filters had to be changed were changed, and with success.
On the advance to Baghdad during the Second Gulf War,
the filters on the humvee vehicles had to be cleaned
HOURLY. At each stop, the hood opened, the filter taken out,
and the sand shook out of the filter, the same filter then
being placed back in the engine. This was, again,
done HOURLY!!

This tendency for the personal weapon of the common
soldier to jam under sandy conditions is not unique
to weapons carried by the American soldier.
The bullpup type individual weapon carried by
the British soldier also has a tendency to jam when
operated in sandy conditions. British troops
deploying to Afghan after 9/11 carried the
bullpup rifle that HAD JUST BEEN MODIFIED AND

Of course, the Soviet AK does not seem to jam under the same
conditions!! Hmmmmm!!! What does that say???!!!

Fun fact: Random autopsies on dead insurgents show a high level of
opiate use.

Now this IS really most interesting. I have
blogged numerous times on how the "fighters" of all
cultures seem to want to find a release from
the terror of combat by using a "substance" of some sort.
In the armies of the western world, alcohol is the
substance of choice. Of course, in the Islamic culture,
alcohol is forbidden. But use of opiates is not
forbidden or looked down upon EVEN IN THE
This is the Islamic drug of "release".

[the Islamic culture looks down upon the western world. Sees
itself as being so righteous and puritanical and NOT susceptible
to the evils of say drug use and alcoholism. This is not entirely
true. They lecture to us about our so-called hedonistic life style
and like to believe they are so goody-two-shoes, but they are

2) The M249 SAW (squad assault weapon): .223 cal. Drum fed light
machine gun. Big thumbs down. Universally considered a piece of
shit. Chronic jamming problems, most of which require partial
disassembly. (that's fun in the middle of a firefight).

This is a big surprise to me. I just recently blogged about this
weapon and how it was SUPPOSEDLY THE ANSWER to the squad
automatic weapon dilemma that has plagued the U.S. military for
over a century. I thought this weapon WAS good.

3) The M9 Beretta 9mm: Mixed bag. Good gun, performs well in
desert environment; but they all hate the 9mm cartridge. The use
of handguns for self-defense is actually fairly common. Same old
story on the 9mm: Bad guys hit multiple times and still in the

The 9mm Beretta was a compromise choice for
the U.S government from the start.

There were at the time of the adoption of the M9 no
less than twenty five different types of handguns in use by
different U.S. governmental agencies [military, Coast
Guard, FBI, Secret Service, Executive Protective Service,
etc.]. It was decided to standardize on ONE handgun for use
by ALL agencies. It was also decided by a political
decision to go with the NATO caliber, the 9mm.

The M9 does seem to be almost jam proof. The test
for jamming during evaluation prior to adoption
was to place the weapon in a cement mixer
filled with a slurry of mud and grit. Spun
around for a while and then tested
for firing and jamming. Only the Beretta
and the SIG Sauer of all handguns tested passed
this test. The Beretta, being "cheaper" than the SIG,
was selected as the final selection.

[please keep in mind that handguns, as with edged weaponry,
account for only a very small percentage of casualties as found on
the modern battlefield. Maybe one percent at the MOST of the
casualties in today's modern warfare are inflicted by such
weapons. This is not something that to the commander plays an
important role, at least in his mind.]

4) Mossberg 12ga. Military shotgun: Works well, used frequently
for clearing houses to good effect.

The shotgun can blast the lock off of doors
if necessary. Was used in Vietnam to blast snipers
hidden by foliage in trees. Some wags have suggested
that the shotgun is NOT a weapon of war. Maybe is
even ILLEGAL under the Geneva Convention. I think NOT.
Modern shotguns can fire a fifty caliber SABOT round
that is armor piercing, aerodynamic, and can
penetrate cinder block walls or destroy
the engine block on a vehicle!! You can bring
an elephant down with one of those rounds!!

[in prehistoric times, the Asiatic elephant used to roam up and
down the Euphrates and Tigris river valleys!!]

5) The M240 Machine Gun: 7.62 NATO (.308) cal. belt fed machine
gun, developed to replace the old M-60 (what a beautiful weapon
that was!!). Thumbs up. Accurate, reliable, and the 7.62 round
puts them down. Originally developed as a vehicle mounted weapon,
more and more are being dismounted and taken into the field by
infantry. The 7.62 round chews up the structure over there.

This weapon is not familiar to me. Firing that
7.62mm NATO round. It sounds to me as if this
MG is being used as a squad level automatic weapon.
Same as was used in Vietnam. The M60 in Nam WAS
NOT universally liked. A crew served weapon, and
a copy more of less of the World War TWO [WW2]
German light machine gun. But a copy with
problems, crew served, heavy, and again, NOT always
respected or liked for the purpose it served.

6) The M2 .50 cal heavy machine gun: Thumbs way, way up. "Ma
deuce" is still worth her considerable weight in gold. The
ultimate fight stopper, puts their dicks in the dirt every time.
The most coveted weapon in-theater.

Well, this says it all.

7) The .45 pistol: Thumbs up. Still the best pistol round out
there. Everybody authorized to carry a sidearm is trying to get
their hands on one. With few exceptions, can reliably be expected
to put 'em down with a torso hit doing most of the pistol work.
The old government model .45's are being re-issued en masse.

"Everybody authorized to carry a sidearm is trying
to get their hands on one." WHOA!! If the weapon
is not AUTHORIZED, you CAN get in trouble
under UCMJ. Maybe this is being overlooked.

We are going back to the time one hundred years ago
when the Filipino Muslims were such a problem
[the jihadis of their day], that the forty five [.45]
autoloading pistol was developed to counter
the charging Moro.

8) The M-14: Thumbs up. They are being re-issued in bulk, mostly
in a modified version to special ops guys. Modifications include
lightweight Kevlar stocks and low power red dot or ACOG sights.
Very reliable in the sandy environment and they love the 7.62

Now, this is most interesting to me. When I served
on active duty, we did our basic training with M-14's.
A superbly crafted and machined weapon. Fired the NATO
7.62 round. Had the twenty round magazine and was
more or less an IMPROVED version of the WW2 Garand.
Was the standard rifle carried by the common soldier until
the M-16 came along. Everyone at the time wanted the M-16.
Lighter, carries a magazine with greater capacity, had auto
capability, and was considered to be "sexier".

Nowadays, the M-14 is carried by the spotter of a two man sniper
team. The shooter fires a bolt action rifle that has
the same exact round used by the M-14. The two man team has
interchangeable ammo. As to the reliability of the M-14 in the
sandy environment, this is surprising to me.
I would NOT have thought this to be the case??!!

9) The Barrett .50 cal sniper rifle: Thumbs way up. Spectacular
range and accuracy and hits like a freight train. Used frequently
to take out vehicle suicide bombers (we actually stop a lot of
them) and barricaded enemy. Definitely here to stay.

This IS a deadly weapon. Fires a round that explodes
upon impact too. American snipers using this weapon
have a big advantage over the enemy.



A backwoods hunter from the Alabama NG spotted this guy, complete with suicide bomber vest, inside a compound in the Green Zone in Iraq. He used a well placed 50 cal sniper round to stop him."

10) The M24 sniper rifle: Thumbs up. Mostly in .308 but some in
300 win mag. Heavily modified Remington 700's. Great performance.
Snipers have been used heavily to great effect. Rumor has it that
a Marine sniper on his third tour in Anbar province has actually
exceeded Carlos Hathcock's record for confirmed kills with OVER

"Snipers are worth their weight in gold!!"
So says an American expert. I believe it. The famous
Marine Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock was
reputed to have killed 99 VC in Nam. Some say the
actual total was in excess of 500!!! Among the militaries
of the world, the American sniper has to be now
considered to be the archetype. Performance is
par excellance.

11) The new body armor: Thumbs up. Relatively light at approx. 6
lbs. and can reliably be expected to soak up small shrapnel and
even will stop an AK-47 round. The bad news: Hot as shit to wear,
almost unbearable in the summer heat (which averages over 120
degrees). Also, the enemy now goes for head shots whenever
possible. All the bullshit about the "old" body armor making our
guys vulnerable to the IED's was a non-starter. The IED explosions
are enormous and body armor doesn't make any difference at all in
most cases.

Some of you may recall my blog on the body armor
that was in existence that DID NOT protect the area
under the arm. That was where the shrapnel from the
IED's was penetrating and causing wounds that
were fatal.

12) Night Vision and Infrared Equipment: Thumbs way up.
Spectacular performance. Our guys see in the dark and own the
night, period. Very little enemy action after evening prayers.
More and more enemy being whacked at night during movement by our
hunter-killer teams. We've all seen the videos.

The hunter-killer team concept was first introduced
in the Vietnam War. Two man teams, equipped with
night vision equipment and special sighted rifles
[quite often the M-14 using the Starlight scope].
Would snipe, ambush with the claymore mine, and wreak
general havoc on the night battlefield. In Nam. The
enemy DID NOT have a counter there and presumably
does NOT NOW!!

13) Lights: Thumbs up. Most of the weapon mounted and personal
lights are Surefire's, and the troops love 'em. Invaluable for
night urban operations. Jordan carried a $34 Surefire G2 on a neck
lanyard and loved it.

We are talking about combat lights that can be
affixed coaxially with the barrel of a weapon.
Where ever that high intensity light points to
is where the weapon, when fired, will hit.

Go here to see a site about combat lights.

I can't help but notice that most of the good fighting
weapons and ordnance are 50 or more years old!!!!!!!!!
With all our technology, it's the WWII and Vietnam
era weapons that everybody wants!!!! The infantry fighting
is frequent, up close and brutal. No quarter is given or shown.

Bad guy weapons: 1) Mostly AK47's The entire country
is an arsenal. Works better in the desert than the M16
and the .308 Russian round kills reliably.

Luckily, the enemy mostly shoots like shit. Undisciplined "spray
and pray" type fire. However, they are seeing more and more
precision weapons, especially sniper rifles. (Iran, again)

The Arab in particular seems to HAVE ABSOLUTELY no
fire discipline whatsoever. Fire off an entire magazine,
and do over and over without even hitting a thing.
They seem to do it just to hear the report
[the noise the firearm makes when fired is called the
report]!! Just undisciplined "fighters" that do NOT
even AIM!!!

Just where do they get all that ammunition FROM!!??

"Mostly AK47's . . . Works better in the desert than
the M16" Why is that?? The Kalashnikov design is so
superior and jam proof?? What features did Kalashnikov
incorporate in the AK that it is so good??

Fun fact: Captured enemy have apparently marveled at the
marksmanship of our guys and how hard they fight. They are
apparently told in Jihad school that the Americans rely solely on
technology, and can be easily beaten in close quarters combat for
their lack of toughness. Let's just say they know better now.

The U.S. military has done VERY WELL at urban combat.
A lot of thought was put into devising doctrine, tactics,
weaponry, training, etc., that allow for U.S. troops to do
VERY WELL in urban combat. It was originally thought that
this form of warfare would be widespread in case of
a Soviet invasion of western Europe. The U.S. military has
NOT had to go through a long and disastrous and costly learning
curve with regard to urban warfare.

Very remarkable.

2) The RPG: Probably the infantry weapon most feared by our guys.
Simple, reliable and as common as dog shit. The enemy responded to
our up-armored humvees by aiming at the windshields, often at
point blank range. Still killing a lot of our guys.

The RPG is a deadly weapon. Originally the Soviets
based their rocket propelled grenade [RPG-2] upon the German
Panzerfaust of WW2. A rocket fired by the individual troop,
using a shaped charge to destroy armored vehicles.
This was a revolutionary weapon that changed warfare for
the average infantryman. These things exist in abundance
world wide and of course in Iraq. There is no getting
away from them.

3) The IED: The biggest killer of all. Can be anything from old
Soviet anti-armor mines to jury rigged artillery shells. A lot
found in Jordan's area were in abandoned cars. The enemy would
take 2 or 3 155mm artillery shells and wire them together. Most
were detonated by cell phone, and the explosions are enormous.
You're not safe in any vehicle, even an M1 tank. Driving is by far
the most dangerous thing our guys do over there.

Exactly. These things can even destroy an Abrams
M1 tank, and have done so. And no matter how much
armor protection you have, it will never be enough.
I see the U.S. military is using the old M113 APC
in Iraq now. To give some protection to the troops.
Those APC's were once considered to be almost a
death trap [primarily from the RPG]. Still are to some
extent, but better than the Humvee and the "armored" kits
they are equipped with.

4) Mortars and rockets: Very prevalent. The Soviet era 122mm
rockets (with an 18km range) are becoming more prevalent.

These rockets DO come in a "backpack" variety.
Two villains carrying one with a sling or have
impressed "porters" do the heavy work for them.
NOT that accurate. Are designed to fired in an enormous
barrage to cover a gird square area [1000 meters on a

5) Bad guy technology: Simple yet effective. Most communication is
by cell and satellite phones, and also by email on laptops. They
use handheld GPS units for navigation and "Google earth" for
overhead views of our positions. Their weapons are good, if not
fancy, and prevalent. Their explosives and bomb technology is TOP
OF THE LINE. Night vision is rare. They are very careless with
their equipment and the captured GPS units and laptops are
treasure troves of Intel when captured.

Go to this web site to see Google Earth. Freeware and very

I understand that the browser OPERA has embedded
forty bit encryption that is used to secure files
and e-mail. This stuff, according to what I read,
is readable by the right parties. And the author is right.
Such captured laptops can be a "treasure
trove" of intel. NO doubt!!!

Who are the bad guys?:

Most of the carnage is caused by the Zarqawi Al Qaeda group. They
operate mostly in Anbar province (Fallujah and Ramadi). These are
mostly "foreigners", non-Iraqi Sunni Arab Jihadists from all over
the Muslim world (and Europe).

In the eyes of some experts, Zarqawi is NOW the man
that has supplanted bin Laden as being the leading
Jihadist. Zarqawi is now seen world wide by the
fevered minded ones as being the man carrying
the fight to the infidel Amriki [America].

Some are virtually untrained young Jihadists that often end up as
suicide bombers or in "sacrifice squads".

The Belgian woman who was a convert to Islam and
recently blew herself up in a car bomb is a perfect
example of the suicide mentality of the young, impressionable,
and foolhardy jihadi.

Most, however, are hard core terrorists from all the usual suspects (Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas etc.) These are the guys running around murdering civilians en masse and cutting heads off. The Chechens (many of whom are Caucasian),
are supposedly the most ruthless and the best fighters.
(they have been fighting the Russians for years).

These are terrorists. Plain and simple. Do not follow
the Laws of Land Warfare. Commit atrocities against
those they feel are traitors to the cause of jihad.
Place themselves in the "enemies of all mankind" category.

Chechens have been reported fighting all over the world.
Kashmir, Bosnia, etc.

In the Baghdad area and south, most of the insurgents are Iranian
inspired (and led) Iraqi Shiites. The Iranian Shiia have been very
adept at infiltrating the Iraqi local govt.'s, the police forces
and the Army. The have had a massive spy and agitator network
there since the Iran-Iraq war in the early 80's.

And we see the aspect of factionalism here. You have
Arab Shia who want an independent and free Iraq. You have
Shia that side with Iran. You have Shia factions fighting one
another for dominance. You have Kurds with their own agenda.

Each faction vying for POWER!

Most of the Saddam loyalists were killed, captured or gave up long

This is not what the news media reports. The story
being told is that prior to the American forces invading
Iraq in 2003, Saddam had about 100,000 loyalists
ready to resist. Are these guys still up and going
or what??

Bad Guy Tactics:

When they are engaged on an infantry level they get their asses
kicked every time. Brave, but stupid. Suicidal Banzai-type charges
were very common earlier in the war and still occur. They will
literally sacrifice 8-10 man teams in suicide squads by sending
them screaming and firing Ak's and RPG's directly at our bases
just to probe the defenses. They get mowed down like grass every
time. (see the M2 and M240 above). Jordan's base was hit like this
often. When engaged, they have a tendency to flee to the same
building, probably for what they think will be a glorious last

Instead, we call in air and that's the end of that more often than
not. These hole-ups are referred to as Alpha Whiskey Romeo's
(Allah's Waiting Room).

We have the laser guided ground-air thing down to a science.

These are the laser guided munitions from strike
aircraft flying close air support [CAS]. Orbit an area
and wait for targets to be designated. If the villains
are cornered in a building, that building is targeted,
illuminated by laser designator, and voila,
bad guys are gone.

The fast mover's, mostly Marine F-18's, are taking an ever
increasing toll on the enemy. When caught out in the open, the
helicopter gunships and AC-130 Spectre gunships cut them to
ribbons with cannon and rocket fire, especially at night.

Those helicopter gunships and AC-130 gunship
[Air Commando], are the most deadly weaponry in the
American arsenal, next to the atomic bomb??!!

Interestingly, artillery is hardly used at all.

Fun fact: The enemy death toll is supposedly between 45-50
thousand. That is why we're seeing less and less infantry attacks
and more IED, suicide bomber shit.

The new strategy is simple: attrition.

The "insurgent" does not have to gain victory
on the battlefield. All they have to do is "outlast"
the opposition.

[it is not so simple as that. It is generally
accepted by the "experts" that for a guerilla army to
triumph over their enemy, they must inflict seven
casualties on the adversary for every one of their own.
Obviously,the villains are not even doing anything
close to that here!!]

The insurgent tactic most frustrating is their use of civilian
non-combatants as cover.

Again, such tactics as using human shields
makes these villains into terrorists.

They know we do all we can to avoid civilian casualties and
therefore schools, hospitals and (especially) Mosques are
locations where they meet, stage for attacks, cache weapons and
ammo and flee to when engaged. They have absolutely no regard
whatsoever for civilian casualties.

Remember the Marine who shot the guy in the
mosque who the Marine believed was shamming? The
entire Islamic world was worked into a frenzy over this
ONE incident. Mosques are supposed to be so SACRED.
To the jihadi they are NOT!! The very same folks who
claim sanctity for the mosque violate that
sanctity themselves!!

They will terrorize locals and murder without hesitation anyone
believed to be sympathetic to the Americans or the new Iraqi govt.

Kidnapping of family members (especially children) is common to
influence people they are trying to influence but cant reach, such
as local govt. officials, clerics, tribal leaders, etc.).

Kidnapping, cold-blooded murder, etc. All trademarks
of the terrorist. NOT guerilla fighters entitled to the
common courtesies afforded a combatant on the battlefield.

The first thing our guys are told is "don't get captured". They
know that if captured they will be tortured and beheaded on the
internet. As such, for our guys, every fight is to the death.

Surrender is not an option.

Richard Pryor Rest In Peace

"You have Muslims....then you have Double Muslims. Double Muslims,Pryor2 them's the
ones you don't want to fuck with—dem double Muslims. 'Cause
them motherfuckers can't wait to get to Allah. And want to take eight or
nine motherfuckers with 'em.

Richard Pryor, performing stand-up
comedy in 1982, hat tip:Stevie D

This IS a big mistake on the part of the jihadi.
American troops, if cornered, will fight that much harder,
knowing full well what is in store for them if captured.
Of course, the enemy does not even appreciate that
or would even care if they did. That sort of thing is
not a consideration for them. Quite the opposite.

This also goes to prove that our treating the
captured jihadi will have no effect at all upon the
mentality of the jihadi with regard to an American
soldier captured by them. All these arguments that if
we do not mistreat the jihadi that in turn they will
reciprocate are just wishfulthinking.

The Iraqi's are a mixed bag. Some fight well, others aren't worth
a shit. Most do okay with American support. Finding leaders is
hard, but they are getting better. It is widely viewed that
Zarqawi's use of suicide bombers, en masse, against the civilian
population was a serious tactical mistake. Many Iraqi's were
galvanized and the caliber of recruits in the Army and the police
forces went up, along with their motivation. It also led to an
exponential increase in good intel because the Iraqi's are sick of
the insurgent attacks against civilians.

This WAS always a similar problem in Vietnam.
The perception was that the South Vietnamese [ARVN] soldier
was a poor troop, ill-led and poorly motivated. When
well-led, and motivated, the ARVN troop did fight well.
One can only hope and pray that the Iraqi will find the
motivation to oust the foreign jihadi, avoid factional
fighting among themselves and bring peace to their country.
American troops cannot and will not do the brunt of
the fighting forever.

The Kurds are solidly pro-American and fearless fighters.

Let us hope the Kurds are not shafted in some
manner when hostilities are over. They have been
sorely mistreated and betrayed in the past by
the British and others. American owes the
Kurds decent and fair treatment.

According to Jordan, morale among our guys is very high.

Morale was a problem with the U.S. drafted army
that fought in Vietnam. At least in the last few years
of the war. Motivation was poor. This does not seem
to be ther problem this time. The all-volunteer force
has worked and worked well!

[in Vietnam, fragging was a problem. The intentional effort
to kill officers and NCO's by low ranking troops. Usually
done by lobbing a hand grenade at them when the target
was not looking. NOT so long ago, the media made a big point
of highlighting the second case of fragging in Iraq. The
second case. In almost three years, two cases. In the ten
years of Vietnam, there were over 3000 cases of fragging!!!]

For the most part, they are satisfied with their equipment, food
and leadership. (there).

For the most part!! Let us hope this continues.